The Hanford Reservation: A Ticking Time Bomb of Contamination

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Mon, 02/19/2018 - 10:00am to 11:00am
Protesting Hanford's lame clean up plan
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Hanford Reach

The Hanford Nuclear Reservation, along the Columbia River in eastern Washington, is the most contaminated nuclear site in the Western Hemisphere. Clean up of its innumerous leaking tanks and unlined pits of radioactive waste has been moving at a glacial pace for forty years but now, according to stories from Hanford workers who are demolishing Hanford’s Plutonium Finishing Plant, things are getting even worse.

Plutonium began escaping outside the demolition control zone for a second time last December 15. Instead of getting to the bottom of it right away, primary contractor CH2M Hill waited two days to halt the job. Radioactive particles ended up on all kinds of items including worker’s boots, office trailers, jersey barriers, tumbleweeds. The plutonium spread also made it onto 36 cars, seven of them personal vehicles, driven home by unsuspecting employees.

Now the Trump adminstration has announced that it wants to drastically cut back funds for the never-ending clean up at Hanford.

On this episode of Locus Focus we talk again with Tom Carpenter and Liz Mattson with Hanford Challenge and Dan Serres with Columbia Riverkeeper about the latest contamination incidents at Hanford and what it will take to get this clean up back on track.

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